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Navigating the NDIS can be daunting, especially if the NDIS marks the first time you or your loved one are accessing supports and services. The Inform NDIS 101 series aims to take some of the confusion out of understanding, accessing and using the NDIS by providing straightforward information and resources.
Supports funded by your NDIS Plan will mostly be delivered by service providers. But how do you determine what services a provider will supply, how much it will cost you and what the provider’s responsibilities are? That’s where service agreements come in.
What is a Service Agreement?
A service agreement is a written agreement made between you, or a family member or friend representing you, and your service provider. The service agreement covers what supports and services will be provided to you. It also cover when those services will be provided and how much they will cost you.
Service agreements also include:
- Details about how, when and where services will be provided
- How any problems will be managed
- Your responsibilities and your provider’s responsibilities
- Any cancellation policies that the Service Provider has
- How the agreement will be reviewed
- How you or your provider may alter or end the agreement
You can choose to use just one service provider, or you can choose several different service providers. However, you will need a service agreement for each provider.
Why do you need service agreements?
Service agreements ensure you and your provider are clear about what kinds of services you want or need and how you’d like them delivered.
The NDIS is designed to help you meet your goals. Whether you’d like to be more independent, spend more time out in the community or feel more confident using public transport, your NDIS plan is intended to help you get there. Your service agreements should reflect your goals, whatever they are, and help you exercise choice and control in how any supports you need or want are delivered.
Putting together a service agreement should be a collaborative process. By working with your service provider, you can ensure that your service agreements accurately reflects the supports that you want and need.
Service Agreement Tips and Advice:
- Meet with your service provider face-to-face to discuss what you’d like the agreement to include. If that’s not possible, a phone chat is a good alternative
- Spend some time talking with your service provider so you can make sure that they can provide you with the supports you want or need and so you can be sure they are clear about what your goals are.
- If your plan includes support coordination, ask them how they can help you put together your service agreements.
- Attached a copy of your NDIS plan to the service agreement. This can help ensure the service provider supplies the supports that align with your goals.
- Read the service agreement carefully before you sign it. And keep a copy of the agreement so you can refer to it if you need.
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